Swanston Farm nestles into the base of Caerketton Hill, one of the most striking peaks in the Pentland Hills Regional Park. Within just 6 miles of Edinburgh City Centre and boasting 700 acres of land, Swanston Farm is a mere 15 minute bus journey from Princes Street and Edinburgh Castle, offering a fantastic selection of facilities to locals, visitors and tourists alike.
Over the last 35 years, Swanston Farm has evolved through many changes, diversifying from arable and livestock farming to include some leisure-based and commercial aspects – and now boasts 6 beautiful self-catering holiday cottages, business lets, a public Brasserie which commands stunning views in all directions, a ‘Disc Golf‘ course, equestrian livery stables and residential lets. The Farm is also home to an 18 hole golf course, a 9 hole short course and a driving range, run by Swanston Golf.
Swanston Farm is still a working farm and visitors can, if they are lucky and prepared to hike a little, see our herd of Highland Cattle, grazing the 300 acres of hill land on the Pentland Hills above the historic Swanston Village, as well as spot our sheep grazing the lowland fields and visit our free range hens pottering about their paddock.
Access to Swanston Farm is just off the Edinburgh City Bypass at either Dreghorn or Lothianburn junctions. Why not come and start your day here by visiting our onsite eatery, Swanston Brasserie and enjoy a hearty, freshly cooked breakfast and reviving hot drink and contemplate the day ahead looking out over the panoramic view. Ask one of the Brasserie staff for a Highland Cow leaflet and they will direct you up the hill in search of our beautiful ‘Hairy Coos’ and on the way you can stop off and say hello to our friendly hens and pass by the secluded and ancient Swanston Village which still stands today.
Visiting the Farm
Swanston Farm is also a working farm and includes a variety of areas containing livestock. If you take a look at this aerial view here, you will be able to see it all very clearly which will help you plan your trip. If you’d like to visit us purely to see our Highland Cows, then we recommend that you firstly head up to our public restaurant, Swanston Brasserie, where the staff can provide you with the Highland Cow leaflet and point you in the right direction. Visitors are welcome to visit the farm at any time on an informal basis free of charge and enjoy the walking routes or take a more strenuous walk up the hills to spot the Highland Cows. There is no need to request a visit or to book for this (however private farm tours are available upon request – please contact us). Visitors are very welcome to pop in to our Brasserie for breakfast, lunch, coffee and cake or dinner during opening hours – see our Brasserie web page for more information. You can also book on to any of the outdoor activities by visiting our ‘Activities‘ page.
The Pentland Hills Regional Park
Enjoyed by mountain bikers, hikers, horse riders, families and those who simply want to breathe in the fresh air, take in the stunning vista and explore the natural habitat. Home to many communities of wildlife, the Pentland Hills Regional Park will delight, surprise and challenge you. Feel the rocks under your feet and let the tracks and paths take you exploring.
Easily accessed by foot, it really couldn’t be easier or quicker to stride out into the fantastic landscape. Shaped over thousands of years by glaciers and water, the geology of the Pentland Hills Regional Park comprises mainly of 390 million-year-old Devonian Old Red Sandstone and outcrops of fossil-rich Silurian rock. With nearly 25,000 acres of countryside, including over 100km of paths, there is always something new to explore. There is an Edinburgh Council car park right next to Swanston Brasserie for your convenience.
Take a look at the Pentland Hills Regional Park website for more information about the area, including routes and trails, activities and events.
Geology in and around Swanston
If you are interested in the Geology of the Pentland Hills and surrounding Edinburgh and Lothian areas, visit the Edinburgh Geological Society’s website where you can read about the fascinating beginnings of the area dating back millions of years, find out about their excursions and events, local geoconservation groups and how to become a member. You can also download a variety of free leaflets, including the ‘Pentland Rocks‘ leaflet.
For an Edinburgh city centre visit, an absolute must on your list is the famous ‘Mr Wood’s Fossils’ shop in the Grassmarket – run by owner and geologist Matt Dale, who took over the business from founder and ‘celebrity’ Paleontologist Stan Wood, this shop is an absolute treasure trove of global artifacts that you can look at and purchase. Take a look at this article from The Scotsman newspaper telling you all about Matt and Stan and Edinburgh’s only Fossil shop.